Desh Ki Baat

The arrest of Amritpal’s mentor fuels Khalistani Protest 

The arrest of Amritpal’s mentor Avtar Singh Khanda, led the Khalistani Sympathisers to attack the Indian Consulate in San Francisco thus adding more fuel to the fire of the Khalistani Protest

As the Punjab cops are still chasing Amritpal Singh, in the UK the arrest of Avtar Singh Khanda, Amritpal Singh’s mentor, has taken place. Alongside this, after the mishap at Indian High Commission in London, Khalistani Sympathisers attack the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, creating further disorder. 

Khalistani protesters now attacked the Indian Consulate in San Francisco after a similar attack against the Indian High Commission in London. 

As the Punjab government is on the lookout for Amritpal Singh, Khalistan supporters attacked the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on Sunday. The events came mere hours after vandalism at the Indian High Commission in London sparked outrage. 

Images which inundated the net showed a huge mob brandishing Khalistan flags mounted on wooden poles, using them to smash glass doors and windows of the consulate building in the US. They shouted pro-Khalistan slogans as they broke through makeshift security barriers raised by the city police and installed two Khalistani flags inside the premises. While the flags were soon removed by consulate personnel, the group also reportedly spray-painted a call to ‘free Amritpal’ on the outer wall.

The United States has condemned the attack on the Indian Consulate in San Francisco and any attack against diplomatic facilities within the US.

John Kirby, White House National Security Council spokesman, called the vandalism at the Indian Consulate “absolutely unacceptable.” The country has also assured defended the safety, and security of these facilities as well as the diplomats who work within them.

“We certainly condemn that vandalism, it’s absolutely unacceptable. The State Department’s diplomatic security service is working with local authorities to properly investigate. The state department will work on the infrastructure perspective to repair the damage,” Kirby said.  

Authorities in the UK have reportedly arrested Avtar Singh Khanda, a Khalistani leader and the alleged mentor of Amritpal Singh, in connection with the mishap at the Indian High Commission in London on Sunday.Reports say that Khanda was the person who was seen pulling down the Indian Flag at the Embassy in London during a protest by a group of Khalistan supporters there.

Who is Avtar Singh Khanda?

Khanda is said to be an asylum seeker in the UK and is the son of Kulwant Singh Khukrana, who was associated with the banned terror outfit ‘Khalistan Liberation Force’.

The agencies investigating Amritpal Singh’s case have found that Avtar Singh Khanda is the same person who had been a “godfather” to Waris Punjab De leader. “Avtar is the one who patronised and groomed Amritpal before he reached India,” a source stated. The agencies are also probing videos of Khanda in which he is emphasizing that the “legacy that Deep Sidhu started has to be continued”.

Khanda is also believed to be a trusted lieutenant of Paramjit Singh Pamma, the leader of another banned group Babbar Khalsa International, who is involved in radicalizing Sikh youths. It is also alleged that he has close ties with Pakistan’s ISI.

The Indian Americans in the country have expressed outrage at the incidents of vandalism and urged the city police and law-enforcement officials to take immediate and necessary actions against those responsible.”We want to take action against whoever did that violent act in San Francisco because this country allows us to do peaceful protests and we want to keep it that way. Whenever there are some issues, we have the right to demonstrate peacefully.

But we would like the authorities to take strict action against people who committed violence in San Francisco at the Indian Consulate,” Jassee Singh, an eminent Sikh American said. On Monday she called the incident shameful. 

Khanda is said to be the man who mentored Amritpal Singh before the latter returned to Punjab from Dubai to become the chief of ‘Waris Punjab De’, which was founded by actor and activist Deep Sidhu, who died in a road accident in February last year.

Meanwhile, during a search at Amritpal’s house in his native village in Jallupur, Khera intelligence agencies found weapons and bulletproof jackets with ‘AKF’ written on them. AFK reportedly stands for ‘Anandpur Khalsa Force’ and the militia was being raised for ‘Mission Khalistan’ at the behest of Khanda, a charge which Amritpal Singh’s family seems unwilling to acknowledge.

As the radical preacher Amritpal Singh is still on the run, Punjab Police on Tuesday released several photographs of the Khalistan sympathiser, including some in which he is not wearing a turban, and sought the help of the public to trace him. Amritpal on Saturday had managed to give police a slip after changing his vehicle when police had launched a massive search operation against him and his clan ‘Waris Punjab De’.

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